Cumulus Buys Merlin Chicago Stations
Alternative To Return To 101.1, WLUP Sticks With Classic Rock
January 3, 2014 at 6:06 AM (PT)
ALL ACCESS has confirmed that CUMULUS is buying MERLIN MEDIA Classic Rock WLUP and Adult Hits WIQI (i101)/CHICAGO for an undisclosed price. CUMULUS, which is taking over operations in an LMA, will transfer the Alternative format of WKQX-LP (Q87.7), which MERLIN programs on the audio track of a LPTV station on Channel 6, to its old home at 101.1 in place of the i101 "90's, 2K & Today" format.
CUMULUS Co-COO JOHN DICKEY tells ALL ACCESS, "These two legendary radio brands will be a welcome addition to the two legendary radio brands we already own in CHICAGO." CUMULUS owns Classic Hits WLS-F and Talk WLS-A in the market.
"WLUP (CHICAGO's CLASSIC ROCK STATION) will not be changing formats and we will improve on that product as well," DICKEY added. "We will migrate WKQX from 87.7 to 101.1 next week and return it to Alternative, dropping '90s, 2K & TODAY'. We will simulcast it for a month.
"The support for Alternative in that market is huge and these are fabulous signals in the market -- and these two acquisitions will improve our situation with the Rock format and present a great opportunity. That puts CUMULUS in a pretty significant place with a Rock presence in that market and nationally too. Yes, it could lend itself to a national Rock brand. That and Sports go hand in hand."
DICKEY also killed rumors of a NASH FM presence during this deal, saying, "We're not taking NASH FM to CHICAGO at this time."